New York City Marathon Professional Race Heats Up

new york city marathon

Meb Keflezighi chases down Kenya’s Robert Cheruiyot at the 2009 ING New York City Marathon. (Photo: Randy Lemoine).

The 2010 ING New York City Marathon professional field is shaping up to be one of the most exciting races in recent memory. A stellar field of the world’s top marathoners, including three previous winners and the world record holder, will be lined up at the start on Nov. 7.

Marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia already announced earlier this year that he’d be running the New York City marathon for the first time in his career. And American Meb Keflezighi also announced he will be back to defend his 2009 title.

But New York Road Runners, the race organizer, recently announced that a slew of other champions will be joining them: two-time ING New York City Marathon champions Martin Lel of Kenya and Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil, as well as four-time Boston Marathon champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot. Lel won New York in 2003 and 2007. Dos Santos won in 2006 and 2008.

With the last three New York City marathon champions—Keflezighi, dos Santos and Lel—facing off against world record holder Gebrselassie, this year’s New York City marathon might have the most decorated field in recent history. No doubt, Gebrselassie is the heavy favorite; generally speaking, when Geb runs, Geb wins. But in March he had to drop out of the 2010 NYC Half-Marathon after 8 miles due to an asthma attack. Though Gebrselassie is the fastest of the field, Keflezighi, dos Santos, Lel and Cheruiyot all know how to win big races.

In the women’s competition, American Shalane Flanagan will make her marathon debut on the streets of New York. The Olympic bronze medalist won the USA Half Marathon Championships in Houston earlier this year. But she’ll face tough competition from two-time Olympic gold medalist and defending New York champion Deratu Tulu of Ethiopia, in addition to NYC Half-Marathon champion Mara Yamauchi of Great Britain and Mary Keitany of Kenya, the reigning half-marathon world champion.

What’s at stake? $130,000 for first place; any previous New York champion who wins will take home $200,000. In addition, runners score points in the World Marathon Majors, a two-year racing series with a $1 million prize purse.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


10 2010